Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

On February 27, 2006, Saab unveiled an ethanol-powered grand tourer concept which suddenly, dramatically and finally gave new meaning to that trampled and misused slogan — Born From Jets.

Unfortunately, concept is what the beautiful Aero X would remain. It was supposed to receive a twin-turbocharged V6 engine running on pure ethanol, good for a whopping 650 HP.

Photo Credit: Larry Parker

Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

I saw the car in person at the 2007 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, that ultra-swanky car show on the shores of Lake Como. Like every concept car, this was to be looked at and not listened to: a cacophony of sad creeks and snaps enveloped its carbon fiber silhouette as it emerged from its trailer, ever so slowly.

Photo Credit: the author

Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

Most 650 HP sports cars are useless but the Aero X was designed to be a proper tourer: the engine was up front, giving ample storage space behind the two seats, underneath a rather fantastic rear end.

Photo Credit: Larry Parker

Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

I have never been a Saab person but the Aero X was breathtaking to look at. A white spectre of a car with not a single superfluous line, it melted into the early morning mist coming off the lake.

Photo Credit: the author

Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

Saab’s aerospace origins translated into a proper 180° canopy with no A pillars.

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Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

The wide rear tires suggest plenty of grip. Also: no silly Lambo doors here to make life a pain in low-slung parking garages.

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Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

Here’s the canopy in action as the Aero X is paraded before the jury. The doors, the 180° canopy and the glass roof are a single piece, lifted up and forward by hydraulics on a massive hinge.

Photo Credit: Larry Parker

Saab Aero X: The Greatest Saab That Never Was

The canopy also saves you from having to perform supercar acrobatics upon egress. And just look at the killer time these guys are having!

Photo Credit: Larry Parker